The orange wheat blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), is a chronic wheat pest worldwide. Adult S. mosellana engage in short-distance flight, but also exploit weather patterns for long-distance dispersal. However, little is known about the flight performance of S. mosellana, and the effects of the biotic and abiotic factors that influence its flight activity. In this study, we explored the active flight potential of S. mosellana under various environmental factors using a 26-channel computer-monitored flight mill system. The most suitable temperature for flight and flight distance was 16-24 degrees C; flight duration peaked at 16 degrees C while speed peaked at 28 degrees C. Flight performance gradually declined between 10 and 400 lux light intensity. More than 50% individuals of 1-d-old females flew > 500 m, while only 24% of males flew > 500 m. One-day-old S. mosellana had stronger flight ability than that of 2-d-old individuals. This research showed that S. mosellana possessed strong enough flight ability that they can fly to a high altitude and then disperse via moving air currents. These results can aid in forecasting S. mosellana outbreak.
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